You are visiting a neighbor’s house, and you compliment the art on their wall. They immediately take it down and insist that you take it as their gift to you. Are they being sincere? It can be hard to judge, and apparently, if they are speaking with an accent, it can influence what you think of their sincerity. A recent study at USC found that listening to information in accented vs. non-accented speech can affect the listener’s subsequent interpretation of events. If the listener comes from the culture of the accented speech, they are more likely to follow their native cultural trends in their reading of the situation, but if they are mono-cultural Americans, they are more likely to impose their American judgments and values when considering what they heard. Whoever your listeners may be, the clearer you can be in your speech, the better the resulting communication. Read more about the study here.
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